Friday 24 April 2020

Hurried Hurricane part 2 - a surprise ending?

Well it was to me. Having commenced the build of this ancient Revell Hurricane with no particular plan in mind I eventually decided to follow up my recent La-7 and finish it as a Soviet machine in much the same colour scheme.
I hand painted some shaky stripes on the tail and the decal box provided the rest.  Given that the Hurricane is  - certainly to my eyes - such a distinctive shape it's quite difficult to make it  look 'different'.  I hope you think it's a success.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Target in range!

I’ve just finished a pair of 3-man WW2 German gun crews - here is one of them at the controls of my 21st Century Toys 88mm gun (a pre-painted model which I bought a couple of years ago). They’re plastic figures by CTS and are a good match for the TSSD infantry figures. 

Saturday 18 April 2020

A-7 Corsair II part 1 - dust, plastic and glue

This was part of a batch of stuff I picked up a couple of years ago and was described by its vendor as incomplete - part of the canopy being missing. Given the deterioration of the box I decided to dig it out and rescue what I could for spares.  Imagine then my delight when the ‘missing’ part was discovered!
Work was begun and this being and old kit, it was pretty simple. I never had this kit as a lad but I did have the Revell version at too young an age. I remember it a a lot of explody things surrounding a fairly small aeroplane. This Airfix kit would have been expensive as it’s a Series 3. 

Thursday 16 April 2020

Lavochkin La-7 part 2 - paint!

The Lavochkin is complete and is seen here in ‘flight’. I based the colour scheme loosely on the box art but had to replace some of the decals when the originals disintegrated in water.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Virtual Conference Of Wargamers

This information appears in Nugget 326 and has also been added to the WD website.

The Conference of Wargamers is an extraordinary event. There can be very, very few, if any, conferences which charge a fee for entrance and then expect delegates to provide the entire program and write up the proceedings. Yet each year COW is a triumph of good will and collective endeavour over standard consumer practice. Each year, as the call goes out for sessions and the members of WD provide, and we all have a jolly good time at Knuston. Then your Editor eagerly awaits, and eventually receives, enough reports for 9 issues of The Nugget.

For obvious reasons this year is not the same. It is extremely unlikely at this time that we will be meeting at Knuston this year. We can however take this as an opportunity to develop our wargames and the way we engage with conflict simulation. Following a discussion with a handful of members, we have taken the decision to offer an alternative to COW – Virtual Conference of Wargamers(VCOW).

VCOW will take place over same weekend as physical COW, that is the weekend of the 10th to the 12th July. It will begin on Friday with a Plenary session, and there will be 4 blocks of sessions over the Saturday and Sunday. These sessions will be a mixture of lectures, discussions and games, and attendees will be able to sign up to a range of different activities over the course of the VCOW. Sadly, you’ll have to provide your own food, but other than that, we hope to recreate the COWexperience as far as possible for all attendees. We also hope that VCOW will provide us with some innovative new types of games and allow us all to explore the benefits and limitations of the virtual medium.

Obviously, attendance at VCOW will be by remote access (or, from the comfort of your own home, if you prefer), using conferencing apps such as Zoom or Skype, which I’m sure many of you are becoming rather familiar with at the moment. Sessions will likewise be run via a remote access media of the session leader’s choice.

To register a session, please send Tim Gow the following information:
  • Name of presenter(s)
  • Title of session
  • Type of session – e.g. Role play, matrix, toy soldier, committee, lecture.
  • Approx. number of participants
  • Running time
  • A few lines of chat about the session for the updates and programme
  • Preferred time slot (day, morning or afternoon)
  • Media for participating (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.)
We intend to be able to provide technical support and a virtual briefing to session organisers ahead of VCOW to help the less technically secure. As virtual participation is rather more intense than face-to-face meetings, we recommend that non-game sessions last no longer than 40 minutes.

We are delighted to announce that the Plenary session will feature two sort lectures by:
  • Peter Perla, Author of Peter Perla's Art of Wargaming
  • Mark Herman – author of numerous titles for SPI, Victory Games, etc.
Also Graham Longley Brown, a well know professional gamer who runs session for the army, will provide a lecture over the weekend.

Any fully paid-up member of Wargame Developments or anyone who has been a member within the last two years may register to take part in the Virtual COW. In order to take part must register your email address and make a small contribution (£5.00) to the cost of the software licence. This can be done via the VCOW blog page at

We very much hope that this format will enable WD members who for whatever reasons have been unable to attend COW in the past will be able to participate in the full WD experience.

Just as with COW, participants are strongly encouraged to submit On and Offside reports to the Editor of the Nugget. As always, you submissions ensure the Nugget’s publication.

We hope that VCOW will appeal to the membership of WD, and we look forward to you registering to attend and submitting your sessions in the near future.

Bob Cordery, Tim Gow, and Matthew Hartley

Hurried Hurricane part 1 - a journey with no destination?

The box of kits which yielded up the La-7 also contained - wedged almost invisibly between some other boxes - this Revell Hurricane. Originally part of a Battle of Britain set I dug out the Hurricane with no clear idea of how it would end up. Well that’s not strictly true - while building the Romanian Bf-109E I had discovered a set of Romanian decals. And the Romanians were, of course, recipients of some early Hurricanes...

As you can see it was a pretty simple kit. That’s the Lavochkin in the background.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Lavochkin La-7 part 1 - Glue

When I ran a Little Cold Wars game based on Task Force Smith in Korea a couple of years ago I used  a Lavochkin La-5 as part of the NKPA air support. I happened to mention at the time that it really should have been an La-7 which earned me displays of mock outrage from the players.  Carrying on the joke, a couple of weeks later John presented me with this fine (and presumably very cheap) kit, insisting that it be ready for a re-run of the scenario. As regular readers will be aware, things can move pretty slowly around here and it was only last Saturday when I opened the box to reveal the delights therein. 
The box contents. A comfortingly low number of parts.
Around 20 minutes later this had appeared. It’s really not a bad wee kit. I like the look of the stripy-tailed ‘plane on the box art...

Monday 13 April 2020

Lebanon ‘82 - I play an old-fashioned board game! Part 1 - setup

Over lunch at 2018’s Gnuston Heights game (see here for the first of five posts on that Little Cold Wars game), the conversation turned to other campaigns which might make suitable games. Two of us having spent the previous few weeks churning out Israeli and Syrian kit our thoughts inevitably took in the 1982 ‘Peace For Galilee’ operation in Lebanon.
To add a decent map to my reading I picked up this board game. As the lockdown seems set to continue for some time yet, yesterday I separated the counters and set up the game so I can play it solo over the coming week. It must be at least a decade - possibly two - since I last played a conventional board game like this so it’ll be interesting to see how I get on.

Sunday 12 April 2020

More Brits for North Africa

I recently finished a second batch of 1/32 Brits for WW2 games in N.Africa. Like the first they are a mix of ancient Airfix, Matchbox and Timpo plastics. I’ve daubed them in my usual ‘toy soldier’ style, topped off with a coat of Ronseal light oak satin varnish.
 Senior officers look on in despair. 
 The earlier batch can be seen in action near Sollum here.

Friday 10 April 2020

ACW Matrix Game part 3 - War is Hell!

October 1864 - First Battle of Atlanta. An attempt to sack Johnston and replace him with Hood fails. Johnston marches to Atlanta and, supported by Forrest’s spoiling attack, engages US forces nearby in what becomes known as the First Battle of Atlanta. Schofield marches on Nashville but fails to repair the railroads due to Morgan’s heroic charge.

November 1864 - Second Battle of Atlanta. Johnston wears down the Army of the Cumberland but Sherman draws ever closer!  Army of the Ohio repairs railroads around Nashville. Morgan rests in Chattanooga and stocks up with looted US supplies.

December 1864 - Third Battle of Atlanta. While Johnston is increasingly preoccupied fighting off Sherman, Forrest’s cavalry overruns positions held by Thomas’s troops. Army of the Cumberland is reduced to prisoners, stragglers and a confused old officer mumbling about the battle of Chickamauga last year. Morgan slips past Schofield and the remains of his force heads south to Lafayette. Atlanta remains in Confederate hands - but for how long?

The final score.  Sherman, Schofield and Thomas achieved one, two and three respectively of their 3 personal objectives. Despite being driven back, the country laid waste and suffering considerable losses, Johnston, Forrest and Morgan each achieved all three!

As I write this final report (in 1867...) Thomas and Morgan, having toured the USA, have taken their Civil War lecture tour to Europe, leaving a trail of boredom in their wake. Schofield and Forrest have entered politics while Johnston has business interests including railroads and insurance. Though he’s reluctant to cover fires risks in the Atlanta area... And Sherman?  Never recovered from Thomas and Morgan’s first lecture. He’s still drunk.

Once again, this game went very well due to the ingenuity and commitment of all six players. Well done chaps!

And finally.... Clearly not everyone was gripped by the campaign. Even Jerry’s rebel yell failed to rouse Zoe.

Thursday 9 April 2020

ACW Matrix Game part 2 - Sweet Home Alabama

As with the Stalingrad game a couple of weeks ago, I have compiled a summary narrative of the game’s. This post deals with turns 1-5, the later turns will follow soon. In the photos, for clarity the Yankees are facing south, the Rebs north. As regards the figures, the six generals were represented and each other figures generally represented a regiment or brigade. But don’t worry about that.

May 1864 - Army of the Tennessee carries out show of force N of Cassville.  Army of the Ohio moves into Lafayette in support, Army of the Cumberland moves south into Alabama. Army of Tennessee fails to build fortifications, Bedford’s Raiders raids Army of the Ohio’s LOC, Morgan’s Cavalry raids ineffectually towards Chattanooga.

June 1864 - Sherman increases pressure on Johnston, Schofield attempts flanking attack. Forrest raids US LOC in Nashville, Morgan harasses US supply columns near Chattanooga. Thomas turns east to Rome while ‘entertaining’ us with anecdotes about his apparently crucial role in the battle of Chickamauga.

July 1864 - Renewed US attack on Cassville fails, Johnston breaks off contact, fighting small delaying actions. Thomas leads remarkable forced march to outskirts of Atlanta. Forrest tears up railroad tracks at Nashville - so don’t expect a ride on the Chattanooga choo-choo anytime soon. Morgan is distracted from plundering US supply stocks by attending a Masonic Lodge meeting in Chattanooga.

August 1864 - Sherman’s attempt to eject Rebs from Chattanooga fails and Schofield’s attack on same is bloodily repulsed. Forrest, having plundered US supplies, marches to Macon. Thomas fortifies approach to Atlanta.

September 1864 - Sherman presses on to Cassville but Johnston evades into the mountains. Schofield and Morgan clash at Chattanooga again. Forrest fails to pressure Thomas, who continues to construct ‘The Atlanta Wall’. Groan.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

ACW Matrix Game part 1 - Tennessee Waltz

This weeks game was another Matrix Game and I was joined on a Skype call by six players and one observer for The March To The Sea. I played this game when Bob Cordery ran it as a play by mail game back in 1995 and as I have suitable 54mm toys to represent the military units involved, it was an obvious candidate.
I always thought Bob had written this game but he credits Chris Engle with it’s design.
I replicated the map on two sheets of flip chart paper and labelled up some toys. I’ll follow up this post with two relating the events of the campaign.
The ‘cast list’ of Sheffield Wargames Society stalwarts was as follows:


General William Tecumseh Sherman - Tim C

General John Schofield - John

General George Thomas - Simon


General Joseph E. Johnston - Martin

General Nathan Bedford Forrest - Jerry

General John Hunt Morgan - Richard 

Saturday 4 April 2020

Romanian Emil - part 3

 Here is the completed Bf-109E resplendent in Romanian markings and hastily posed ‘in flight’.